Stella Cadente is the fiction-feature debut by the renowned Barcelona-based producer Lluís Miñarro. His producing credits include several of the most important cinematic works of the current century, including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010), The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira, 2010), Birdsong and Honour of the Knights (Albert Serra 2006 / 2008), and Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso, 2008).
Stella Cadente (in English ‘Falling Star’), Lluís Miñarro’s lavish, lascivious story of the doomed Spanish King Amadeo I in the early 1870s, is unlike any cinematic historical portrait before it. Taking this little-known episode of Spanish history, the film functions as a metaphor for contemporary Spain – and by extension, Europe - and its ongoing state of crisis.
Both historical film and camp melodrama, this richly layered film is suffused with absurdist asides, surreal interludes and sexually explicit reverie. Its bold and beautiful tableaux are filled with casual references to art and literature, colourfully and radiantly filmed by Jimmy Gimferrer (cameraman for fellow Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra, among others). Wonderfully performed, sumptuously designed, sometimes shocking and playfully anarchic, Stella Cadente is one of the most original and transcendent works to emerge in contemporary European cinema.
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